On Thursday, the American Health Authorities authorised the consumption of a genetically modified salmon. The decision was taken by the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) despite criticism from consumer associations.
The genetically modified salmon is a “new type of Atlantic salmon injected with a gene of the Pacific Chinook salmon for it to grow twice as fast”. “It can then reach its adult size after 16 to 18 months instead of 30 months for an Atlantic salmon”. The FDA considered that the AquAdvantage salmon “satisfied regulatory conditions” and was “fit for consumption”. The salmon was developed by AquaBounty Technologies, a biotechnology company based in the State of Massachusetts.
According to the health authorities, this salmon is “just as nourishing as other non-transgenic Atlantic salmon” and there are “no significant biological differences ‘between this fish and other salmon bred in the Atlantic’”.
The claims put forward by associations with regard to the labelling of genetically modified salmon have not been considered. “According to American law, this is required only when there is ‘a material difference such as a different nutritional profile’ between the transgenic product and the similar natural product”.
The salmon will be bred in two specific facilities in Canada and Panama.